Advanced Usage


You have the option of starting your ownCloud desktop client with the owncloud command. The following options are supported:

owncloud -h or owncloud --help
Displays all command options.

The other options are:

Opens a window displaying log output.
--logfile <filename>
Write log output to the file specified. To write to stdout, specify - as the filename.
--logdir <name>
Writes each synchronization log output in a new file in the specified directory.
--logexpire <hours>
Removes logs older than the value specified (in hours). This command is used with --logdir.
Clears (flushes) the log file after each write action.
--confdir <dirname>
Uses the specified configuration directory.

Configuration File

The ownCloud Client reads a configuration file. You can locate this configuration file as follows:

On Linux distributions:
On Microsoft Windows systems:
On MAC OS X systems:
$HOME/Library/Application Support/ownCloud/owncloud.cfg

The configuration file contains settings using the Microsoft Windows .ini file format. You can overwrite changes using the ownCloud configuration dialog.


Use caution when making changes to the ownCloud Client configuration file. Incorrect settings can produce unintended results.

Some interesting values that can be set on the configuration file are:

[ownCloud] section
Variable Default Meaning
remotePollInterval 30000 Specifies the poll time for the remote repository in milliseconds.
forceSyncInterval 7200000 The duration of no activity after which a synchronization run shall be triggered automatically.
notificationRefreshInterval 300000 Specifies the default interval of checking for new server notifications in milliseconds.
[General] section
Variable Default Meaning
chunkSize 5242880 Specifies the chunk size of uploaded files in bytes.
promptDeleteAllFiles true If a UI prompt should ask for confirmation if it was detected that all files and folders were deleted.
maxLogLines 20000 Specifies the maximum number of log lines displayed in the log window.
timeout 300 The timeout for network connections in seconds.
[Proxy] section
Variable Default Meaning
host The address of the proxy server.
port 8080 The port were the proxy is listening.
type 2 0 for System Proxy.
1 for SOCKS5 Proxy.
2 for No Proxy.
3 for HTTP(S) Proxy.

ownCloud Command Line Client

The ownCloud Client packages contain a command line client, owncloudcmd, that can be used to synchronize ownCloud files to client machines.

owncloudcmd performs a single sync run and then exits the synchronization process. In this manner, owncloudcmd processes the differences between client and server directories and propagates the files to bring both repositories to the same state. Contrary to the GUI-based client, owncloudcmd does not repeat synchronizations on its own. It also does not monitor for file system changes.

To invoke owncloudcmd, you must provide the local and the remote repository URL using the following command:

owncloudcmd [OPTIONS...] sourcedir owncloudurl

where sourcedir is the local directory and owncloudurl is the server URL.

Other command line switches supported by owncloudcmd include the following:

--user, -u [user]
Use user as the login name.
--password, -p [password]
Use password as the password.
Use netrc (5) for login.
Do not prompt for questions.
--silent, --s
Inhibits verbose log output.
Trust any SSL certificate, including invalid ones.
--httpproxy  http://[user@pass:]<server>:<port>
Uses server as HTTP proxy.
Uses Non Shibboleth WebDAV Authentication
--davpath [path]
Overrides the WebDAV Path with path
--exclude [file]
Exclude list file
--unsyncedfolders [file]
File containing the list of unsynced remote folders (selective sync)
--max-sync-retries [n]
Retries maximum n times (defaults to 3)
Sync hidden files,do not ignore them

Credential Handling

owncloudcmd requires the user to specify the username and password using the standard URL pattern, e.g.,

$ owncloudcmd /home/user/my_sync_folder https://carla:secret@server/owncloud/remote.php/webdav/

To synchronize the ownCloud directory Music to the local directory media/music, through a proxy listening on port 8080, and on a gateway machine using IP address, the command line would be:

$ owncloudcmd --httpproxy \
              $HOME/media/music \

owncloudcmd will prompt for the user name and password, unless they have been specified on the command line or -n has been passed.

Low Disk Space

When disk space is low the ownCloud Client will be unable to synchronize all files. This section describes its behavior in a low disk space situation as well as the options that influence it.

  1. Synchronization of a folder aborts entirely if the remaining disk space falls below 50 MB. This threshold can be adjusted with the OWNCLOUD_CRITICAL_FREE_SPACE_BYTES environment variable.
  2. Downloads that would reduce the free disk space below 250 MB will be skipped or aborted. The download will be retried regularly and other synchronization is unaffected. This threshold can be adjusted with the OWNCLOUD_FREE_SPACE_BYTES environment variable.
All documentation licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license.